Riders represent the mountain
Last year Emily Perrins worked at the BC Downhill Championships and BC Cup in Sun Peaks as a medic, watching riders fly by on the course. This year she took home gold in the Women’s Open 17 to 29.
“I decided I’d give the race a go at last year’s event. I was a medic on the sideline watching and figured ‘why not?’ I knew the track well enough to enter despite not having any racing experience,” she said.
Perrins prepared by running the track while working part-time as a bike patroller but said she was still nervous heading into it.
“It’s an intense event, and even though I know the track well, I felt completely out of my league ahead of time.”
She said her ride felt good but wasn’t perfect.
“Early on during my lap my shifter cable broke so I lost the function of my gears and wasn’t able to pedal well either so that upped the excitement a little!” said Perrins.
Flying past friends and locals she ended with a time of 7:49 nearly a full minute ahead of the second place winner.
For the youngest local competitor, Mattias Grunling, the race also marked his first downhill competition.
With a time of 5:58 he came in 10th place in the U15 Men’s category.
“I felt like it was a good time,” Grunling said. “I cleared everything on the run, I didn’t mess up at all.”
He said he scoped out lines the day before to prepare for tricky sections and has ridden the park every day since it opened.
The 12-year-old rider has been ripping for four years and is looking forward to his second race in SilverStar July 15.
“I feel like I’ll do good and I’m excited for them.”
Also headed to SilverStar is Sun Peaks racer Gabriel Neron.
Neron took home gold this weekend, a goal he set after the previous weekend’s race in Whistler.
Competing in the Junior Sport 17 to 18, Neron raced second last but finished with a time of 5:10, just ahead of the silver medal winner.
“Racing second last was nerve wracking,” Neron said. “Seeing everyone dropping in at the top not knowing their times.
“I made one little mistake where my foot came off the pedals but I got it back together.”
Neron prepped with four practice laps the day before but said he still felt nervous competing on home turf. On July 15 Neron will head to SilverStar and hopes to bring home another gold medal but admitted it will be a close competition.